Culture Speaks

What Began in January 2019 and continued through April 2019, as a proud partner with the Florida Humanities and its Speaker Series, the Coral Springs Museum of Art hosted four consecutive months of varying notable scholarly speakers Including: Betty Jean Steinshouer; Dr. Kitty Oliver; Peggy Macdonald; and Michael Tougias. This collective series of speakers, Culture Speaks, was a monthly public offering for the community to learn about and better understand historical components of Florida, diversity and war through stories and performances from notable scholars regarding the lives and tales of historical persons and their contributions that impact today’s society.

Past Speakers

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Peggy Macdonald

Florida Female Pioneers

“Florida’s Female Pioneers” examines some of the women who have shaped the Sunshine State. Dr. Esther Hill Hawks, a female doctor during the Civil War, visited Florida during the war and ran the first racially integrated free school in Florida during Reconstruction. She wrote lyrical descriptions of the St. Johns River and documented the aftermath of the Civil War in Florida. Harriet Beecher Stowe is credited with kick-starting Florida’s tourism industry with her 1873 book, “Palmetto Leaves.” Florida First Lady May Mann Jennings, married to Florida Governor William Sherman Jennings, was a suffragist and conservationist who was known as the “Mother of Florida Forestry” and helped establish Royal Palm State Park, which later became the nucleus of Everglades National Park. This talk focuses on these Florida pioneers and other, lesser known female firsts.

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Dr. Kitty Oliver

Afternoon of Jazz & Multicolored Memories

Join us at the Museum for an exciting afternoon of jazz and cabaret performance by Dr. Kitty Oliver. This is a thought-provoking, inspirational look at race from a different perspective that resonates with audiences across racial, ethnic and generational lines and sparks new conversations long after the program ends. This innovative “Race and Change” performance has family-friendly appeal to audiences across races, ethnicities, cultures and generations using music and storytelling to relate history to the present and bringing together people across cultures for an inspirational, entertaining event. Dr. Oliver travels widely doing presentations that blends her Ph.D. research focusing on race and ethnic communication with jazz music artistry, multimedia presentations, and poignant storytelling to create a memorable experience.

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Betty Jean Steinshouer

Marjory Stoneman Douglas: The Woman Behind the Name

Join seasoned Chautauqua performer Betty Jean Steinshouer for a special program about the woman for whom Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is named. Most people know her only as one of the original advocates for Everglades National Park. That is true, but she was much more. She was a rabble-rouser, an outspoken campaigner against the prison work system, school segregation, and rampant development in South Florida, among other issues. This program will be presented in costume and character, with a discussion to follow, for all ages, a month before the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting at nearby Parkland. It will be a celebration of community activism and Florida history.

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Michael J. Tougias

U-Boat So Close to Home: An American Family’s World War II Story of Survival

New York Times best-selling author Michael J. Tougias offers a dramatic presentation based on his book So Close to Home. Tougias will use slides of the attack, the survivors, and the rescue to make this “an edge-of-your seat” multi-media program. The program follows the first U-boat to enter the Gulf of Mexico in May 1942, as it stalked its prey 30 miles off New Orleans. Tougias was able to locate the U-boat commander’s war diary as well as members of the family who survived the attack to give a presentation that shows the events from both the German and American perspective.

This program is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.